Salt River invasive plant clearing project

In November 2018 Six Kingdoms was contracted to project manage an invasive clearing project along the Salt River, a key tributary to the Knysna Lagoon 

The project was a collaborative effort that brought together the public and private sector in a shared vision of clearing out the 50 year flood line of the river of invasive vegetation.

SANPARKS, the Knysna Municipality and BioWise, a Knysna based Biomimicry NGO spent 1 month clearing a section of the Salt River, supported by a local engineering company that had performed significant engineering changes to the river bed as a result of a water pipeline project for Knysna.

Six Kingdoms was tasked with project management and coordination of the various teams that were operating on the river. The brief on the project was to remove all invasive species along the 50 year flood line of the river, excluding established gum and blackwoods which were left to act as mother trees for the re-establishment of indigenous vegetation along the system. An additional element of the project was to add value to the invasive plant material as far as possible, with the intention of a creating alternative economies from alien plant biomass.

The project was demanding and required a lot of labour as all biomass had to be removed from the river and either chipped or cut into manageable pieces to be further processed into firewood. Overall 330 person days were spent on the project, which cleared approximately 450m3 of branches and 125m3 of logs from the river system over an area of approximately 1.7 hectares. The logs were claimed for firewood by local firewood businesses and the branches were chipped and taken by the municipality to use as a mulch in their gardens.

Below are some before and after photos of the clearing process. Some of the alien trees were left standing to provide shelter and shade for indigenous to regrow.

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